The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) hosted the Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekeazwu to a digital Closing Gong Ceremony to mark the end of trading activities in 2020. The event which took place on Thursday, 31 December 2020 was hosted by the Divisional Head, Shared Services, NSE, Mr. Bola Adeeko.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Adeeko stated, “The year 2020 has been an eventful year for the Nigerian capital market and specifically for us at the NSE. Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, we have remained resilient in providing stakeholders a platform to raise capital and invest. The market capitalisation of all securities listed on the Exchange increased to N38.5tn as at 31 December 2020 from N25.89tn at the end of 2019. The market capitalisation of the equities market crossed the ₦21 Trillion mark, while the NSE All Share Index reached 40,270.72 with a YTD return of 50.03%. We have also continued to provide a platform to support listed companies in meeting their strategic business objectives as demonstrated in the over N1 trillion raised by Governments and Corporates across various asset classes year to date.”
As a responsible corporate citizen, The Exchange continues to support the fight against COVID-19. “We devoted the sum of N100 Million to the fight against COVID-19, with N60 Million donated to the Capital Market Support Committee for COVID (CMSCC) and the balance N40 Million devoted to the Masks for All Nigerians campaign. Against the backdrop of the resurging COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to host Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu to this Closing Gong ceremony to further amplify the efforts of the NCDC and to educate Nigerians on how we can all navigate this crisis. We thank Dr. Ihekweazu for his exemplary leadership and reiterate the support of The Exchange to promote collective action in this fight,” Mr. Adeeko further stated.
On his part, Dr. Ihekweazu commented, “The NCDC is extremely proud and grateful to the NSE for inviting us to this event today. We have been faced by a common challenge which has facilitated a strong collaboration between the NCDC and NSE, as well as the organised private sector. NSE has been truly supportive of the measures put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the NCDC, encouraging members of the capital market community to adhere to necessary guidelines. As we work towards sounding the Closing Gong we are reminded of the lives that have been lost to the pandemic and this should push us further in our responsibility in the new year. We would like to take this opportunity to remind Nigerians to wear face masks, maintain, physical distancing, avoid mass gatherings and wash their hands frequently even as we move closer to the finish line.”
It would be recalled that the last trading day Closing Gong ceremony is reserved for distinguished individuals and organisations who have made a significant impact in the society.